Trust hoping to cut backlog of treatments at Charing Cross and Hammersmith
Fewer Covid patients in critical care wards at Charing Cross
The number of patients being treated for Covid-19 at three major West London hospitals is at a stable level, according to an NHS chief.
Professor Tim Orchard, the chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, is in charge of running Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospitals.
At a Trust board meeting this Wednesday (25 November), Prof Orchard revealed that a total of 44 patients at the three sites are Covid-positive, taking up 16 per cent of all the Trust’s beds.
He said: “We have 28 patients this morning on our critical care wards of whom 22 are requiring mechanical ventilation.
“In context, at the height of the first wave we had 122 patients on ventilators and in excess of 160 patients in hospital with Covid.
“We’ve not seen the demand rises that some parts of the country have. We have however seen some of our partner trusts have some more pressure on their acute services.”
Prof Orchard also sounded a positive note about the three hospitals’ ability to keep delivering routine, non-elective treatments and surgeries.
Hospitals across the country have accumulated huge backlogs on their waiting lists, but Prof Orchard said the Trust is “on target” with its recovery plan to stop its own backlog getting bigger, while still being able to deal with demand from Covid patients.
A report written by Mr Orchard and presented to the Trust’s board showed the number of patients waiting over 52 weeks for treatment is forecast to have fallen from 1,259 to “1,170 or less” between September and October.
He told the board, “I’m pleased to say we’re just ahead of target in getting our 52-week waiters down. We’re focusing on getting patients who have been waiting for long periods of time treated.”
He went on, “Our ITUs are quite full because we’re continuing to use them for our normal elective and non-elective work. Our A&E attendance is now 80 per cent of where they normally are, whereas during the first wave they were below 50 per cent.”
Meanwhile, clinicians at the three hospitals are receiving the new Lateral Flow Covid-19 tests, which give results within 30 minutes, “as of this week”.
“Patient-facing staff” are being asked to take the tests twice a week, Prof Orchard said.
Owen Sheppard – Local Democracy Reporter
November 25, 2020